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In the past, April 6, 2011: Police dog bites deputy in the line of duty | History

Police dogs are trained to subdue criminals.

During a heated fight 11 years ago, one of those dogs bit a man’s arm and leg.

Unfortunately, the arm and leg were not attached to the criminal suspect.

The dog, Wiley, a Belgian Malinois, bit Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy David Heins in the arm and leg. Heins was taken to Nebraska Medical Center, where his wounds were stitched up and he was released.

Heins and the dog’s handler, Officer Jay Wineinger, were at a Southeast Omaha home with three other officers, serving a warrant for an ex-convict, David Cermak.

In the struggle, Cermak, who was armed, shot deputy Tom Flynn in the side. Cermak was shot dead.

Heins was injured by Wiley during the confrontation with Cermak.

Wiley, a 4-year-old boy, had been with Wineinger since 2008 and was one of six dogs at the agency. Wineinger was placed on administrative leave during the shooting investigation, Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Glandt said, so Wiley was also on leave.

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“If officers have enough time, they have a warrant to call (their dogs),” Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning said. “But again, you are dealing with an animal. A trained animal, but still an animal.”

One of the cardinal rules that officers must observe when a police dog is on the scene is to refrain from chasing someone if they are running.

“The dog is not going to differentiate,” Glandt said. “There is no guarantee that the dog will not chase you.”

This was not the first time Wiley, who Glandt estimated to weigh 80 pounds, had bitten an officer. During a training exercise in 2010, Glandt said, the dog bit another officer in the back of the head.

Police service dogs are great tools, said sheriff’s Capt. Steve Glandt, who oversaw the sheriff’s K-9 unit at the time. But they are not perfect.

Let’s take a look at a few more “good dogs” that have protected and served:

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